Human traffickers misuse 'umrah' visa: Police
The Jakarta Post
Police have arrested nine people on charges of attempting to smuggle Indonesian job seekers to Saudi Arabia by using umrah (minor haj) visas.
The suspects were arrested in East Kalimantan, Jakarta, West Java and West Nusa Tenggara, the police said.
The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) chief, Comr. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto, said the suspects were reportedly part of an international human trafficking ring. In Sebatik, a North Kalimantan town bordering Malaysia, the police rescued 148 people the ring was allegedly about to smuggle to the Middle East.
“A common tactic is misusing the umrah visa,” Ari told a press conference on Wednesday. Eighty female job seekers were presented during the press conference.
Visa misuse is quite a common tactic used by traffickers. Last year, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, helped repatriate 69 Indonesian citizens working there despite only holding umrah visas. They were among 186 Indonesians who reportedly went on umrah but did not return as scheduled.
Job seekers presented in the press conference admitted they knew that they were dispatched to work illegally.
A 42-year-old job seeker from Karawang, West Java, who wanted to remain anonymous, said if the police did not “rescue” the job seekers and arrested their illegal recruiters, they would have worked in Saudi Arabia as domestic workers.
“No one forced me to go there. I was looking for them [illegal worker recruitment agencies]." (hol/ebf)
- Jakarta shocked by deadly bombings days before Ramadhan
- Kampung Melayu suicide bomber identified
- Film inspired by 212 rally to hit cinemas
- #PrayForJakarta, #KamiTidakTakut trend worldwide following bomb blast
- Police find links between Jakarta twin bombings and Bandung bombing
- East Jakarta suicide blasts likely linked to IS: Police
- UK issues travel warning after Kampung Melayu bombings
- Jakarta bombing attack a retaliation against police: Analyst
- Pressure cooker bombs used in Kampung Melayu attack: Police
- Jakarta suicide bombing kills three police officers